I'm not what you would consider a "runner". I don't run every single day nor do I run most days of the week. I, however, before getting pregnant with my second baby, used to enjoy running particularly short runs on weekends and some evenings during the week.
One summer day in 2018, I was out for a run, an attempt to do a 10K that afternoon. I didn't feel like running to begin with that day, but I pushed myself to get out of the house anyway. I started feeling dizzy around 1km mark. I stopped running. I thought maybe it was just too hot for me. So I walked and decided to head home.
A few days after that attempt of doing a 10k run, I found out I was pregnant. It made sense why I was feeling the way I was that day. The dizziness was one of the pregnancy symptoms I was having. Since finding out I was 4 weeks pregnant, I stopped running all together. I guess I always had it in my head that I may feel dizzy again while out running.
And so my pregnancy was happening and all went well fortunately. Nine months later, our beautiful baby girl was born. If you're reading this, I'm guessing you also took a break from running when you got pregnant. Having a newborn is just magical, isn't it?. All the pains of giving birth however you gave birth, just disappears (not entirely but you know what I mean) once you see your baby. Then comes the sleepless nights, and being unable to get out of the house like I used to. I knew this was temporary as this is my second child.
I live in Ottawa, Ontario, where winters can be rough. Snow and rain mix together on top of a gloomy day. This kind of weather definitely did not motivate me to start getting back into running again. In fact, I have forgotten about it for a long while.
I wanted to get rid of my "baby weight" but I wasn't mentally and physically ready to run outside again. I started doing short workouts at home every morning and started getting myself back into eating the right amount. I went all out during my whole pregnancy! Eventually I bounced back to my pre-pregnancy weight.
My baby is now 9 months old and we're in the middle of January here, I started craving to run and sweat again. I'm not sure what got into me. I guess the "not running" just got old eventually. I'm looking into joining a Winter run and hopefully join more short races come Spring and Summer. If you've read this far, wow, thank you! Stay and read a little more to find out how I plan on getting back into running again after a long 18-month-break of zero running and how you can, too.
- SELF-TALK - Self-talk yourself to get back into running. There's no one who can convince you more than anyone else. In fact, your best motivator is yourself. Once you rely on somebody to motivate you, then you're not really doing it for yourself. It's always good to have an accountability partner but the motivation has to start from within. Remember all the good feelings and endorphins you'd have after a run when you used to run then compare it to those months you haven't. You miss those days, don't you?! Of course, you do! That is why you're reading this blog in the first place.
- JOIN RACES - Joining races is another way to push yourself. You can start slow and just to finish the race can be your first goal. Don't worry about being the 1st runner up. I know I won't! I want to get back to running smoothly, so I will start slow and steady.
- JOIN A RUNNING GROUP - Join a running group in your area. Keep in mind Facebook groups. You will be surprised how many active groups there are in your area. If you're not a fan of a 'meet-up' type of thing, joining a running app can be helpful as well. I particularly like Strava, but there are tons of running apps out there that can contribute to motivating you to run again. Remember though, it has to come from within.
- KEEP TRACK - Don't just run the same pace, try to beat your time. By beating your time, you're setting a goal for yourself pushing you to work even harder. If you don't achieve the time you're going for, don't be too hard on yourself. Just let it go and try again.
- KEEP GOING - It's so easy to turn anything into a habit, isn't it? When you start working out, it doesn't take long before you realize how doing something good for yourself just simply feels good. It feels right! When you start to skip a workout or 2, that can turn into not working out at all especially in the winter months. Have an accountability partner to keep you motivated. Remember that the more we age, the more reasons there are why we should be working out. You can also use your kids as an inspiration to keep you motivated. Keep in mind, they mirror what they see their parents do.
- REWARD YOURSELF - Reward yourself after completing a run. Why do you think they give runners a medal after a race? Thought of it yet? The best way to treat yourself is when you know you deserve it! Whether it's a new running gear or a slice of cake, go for it! Just know your limits and don't overdo it. Overdoing rewards could easily turn into guilt and you don't want that. Just keep it simple yet very rewarding.
That's all folks, I hope these tips will help you get back into running or just working out in general. Leave your comments below if you have other tips not mentioned above.
Written by: Monica Juno Arsenault
Co-founder, Yatta Life Inc